Yellowstone's Steamboat geyser continued smashing record in June 2019. At this rate, the annual record for eruptions will fall this summer.
During the month, 7 water eruptions occurred, on June 1, 7, 12, 15, 19, 23, and 28, bringing the total number of eruptions for the year to 25, the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory reports.
At this rate, the annual record for eruptions – 32, set last year – will fall this summer! June also saw the shortest interval between eruptions that has ever been recorded – slightly over 3 days.
The University of Utah Seismograph Stations, responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network, located 73 earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region in June. The largest event was a microearthquake of magnitude 2.0 located 8 km (5 miles) north of West Yellowstone, MT, on June 14 at 08:25 UTC. The earthquake was not reported felt.
Two small earthquake swarms were located 8 km (5 miles) SSE of West Thumb in Yellowstone National Park. One occurred on June 13 and included 12 located earthquakes, while the other took place on June 19 and was made up of 10 located earthquakes. The largest earthquake in either sequence had a magnitude of 1.8 and occurred on June 19.
Yellowstone earthquake activity remains at background levels.
There were no major changes in surface deformation in the Yellowstone area as recorded by GPS stations. Ground subsidence of Yellowstone caldera continues, as it has since 2015, at a rate of 2-3 cm (0.78 inches) per year. Minor fluctuations in subsidence rate are most likely due to seasonal changes in snowmelt and lake level. In the area of Norris Geyser Basin, GPS data show little change since October 2018.
"The University of Utah and National Park Service scientists deployed a network of 51 temporary seismometers around Steamboat geyser in mid-June and have already captured 4 water eruptions. These data will be a terrific complement to last year's May-June deployment and should teach scientists quite a lot about Steamboat's activity patterns and plumbing system," YVO said in its monthly update released July 1.
Featured image credit: USGS/YVO
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